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Thousands descend on Golden Gate Park for 4/20 weed festival

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Thousands had already gathered at Golden Gate Park ahead of 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Thousands have already arrived at Golden Gate Park for the annual marijuana holiday known as 4/20, even though it’s hours from 4:20 p.m.

Vendors selling hot dogs, soda, ice cream and the like lined Stanyan Street and Golden Gate Park on the outskirts of the party as of 2 p.m. The smell of cannabis smoke could be detected as far away as Fulton Street.

SEE RELATED: SF prepares for 4/20 celebrations

Buses emptied their passengers blocks from the party, as the gridlock at Stanyan Street snarled traffic to slow speeds. John F. Kennedy Drive was faring better, serving as a reliable connection from the west side of San Francisco to the east with free flowing traffic — so far.

Those driving were advised to avoid Haight Street. The only two outlets from the west side of Haight Street were a left or right turn down Stanyan Street, both of which were packed to the gills with crossing pedestrian traffic.

Smokers and tokers from across stoner culture descended on Golden Gate Park. From dreaded rastas playing slow beats, to tie-dyed hippies who appeared to have walked out of a 1960s period film, to chain-wearing skater dudes rolling on their boards as they pulled at a joint, one thing was certain: Golden Gate Park were crowded.

Two Recreation and Park Department staffers in yellow vests exclaimed, “what happened over here?!” as they walked up to a wood chipped planter littered with water bottles and bags by the vendors. Using claws on arms, they picked up trash aplenty.

No major incidents had been reported to police as of 2 p.m., save for the heavy traffic, said San Francisco police spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca.

“There hasn’t been anything other than just the crowds and traffic,” Rueca said.

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